Transaction accounts are basic bank accounts available to Australian residents, usually over 16 years of age. It’s used for everyday transactions and expenses, as well as payments to other accounts. Most people have their salary paid in to this account.
Everyday accounts are essentially the same as a transaction account, just under a different name. Depending on the bank, you’ll be offered either a transaction account or an everyday account, but they should be used for the same things.
With these accounts you will receive a debit card which can be used to withdraw cash at ATMs or through EFTPOS at supermarkets, even from Australia Post Bank@Post TM if your bank is branchless.
Most commonly, people use these cards to pay for purchases at point of sale, via EFTPOS, digital wallet or payWave style transactions.
Many transaction accounts charge a small monthly fee to keep your account open, but some waive this if you deposit a certain amount, such as your salary, each month.
Most transaction accounts don’t charge for electronic transfer of money or withdrawals if you use an ATM affiliated with your bank, but check this before you open an account.
Some transaction accounts may charge a branch withdrawal fee, or a cheque deposit fee for getting your bank to write a cheque on your behalf. Online statements are usually free, but some banks charge for paper statements.
Check that a transaction account offers what you need.
For most people this is:
Ask about any special offers, discounts or deals available when you open a new account.
Savings accounts or high interest savings accounts are bank accounts that accrue interest on the money you deposit. Savings accounts are designed to grow your funds, not be used for everyday transactions. Most savings accounts are available to Australian residents, usually over 16 years of age but some banks offer special accounts for kids.
Savings accounts don’t usually come with card access. This discourages you from using the account for everyday expenses. Money is usually accessed by transferring it to a transaction account either online, over the phone or in a branch or at Australia Post Bank@PostTM outlet if your bank is branchless.
Some lenders charge annual fees and withdrawal fees. Others offer no fees on accounts if you deposit a certain amount of money in the account each month.
A competitive interest rate will grow your money more quickly. Ideally look for a rate that’s higher than the CPI [Consumer Price Index] inflation rate, which you can check at the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Promotional rates may give a higher interest rate for a limited period of time.
Some accounts also offer bonus rates, which mean you may get a higher interest rate if you don’t make withdrawals for a certain time, or if you deposit a minimum monthly amount.Find out how to find the best savings account
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